Evidence-proof electronic laboratory book


Compliance with the principles of good scientific practise, long-term reproducibility and integrity of scientific results requires secure archiving of electronic publications, findings and the underlying raw data.

In the first project phase we developed a concept to archive electronic raw data for long term archival and created a prototype based on this concept. We analysed the acquisition and archival of raw scientific data with a focus on how transparent processes and documentation can lead to accuracy and integrity of the data. Furthermore, we investigated which legal interests and rules and regulations (e.g. copyright laws data protection law are affected by acquisition and archival, in order to ensure a legally compliant design of concept and prototype. We developed a concept to electronically secure the process of data gathering and to permanently maintain integrity and interpretability of the data, so that authenticity can be guaranteed. We evaluated which additional metadata are required and should therefore be collected and archived, and which additional requirements electronic archives must meet. The prototype created on the basis on the concept was evaluated technically and legally. Finally, proposals for essential legal development were developed.

In the second project phase, we improved the concept and extended it by key technologies to increase the cogency of proof. The concept of the probative electronic lab notebook was expanded over archival to encompass the complete scientific data lifecycle. Moreover, we investigated how electronic signatures and timestamps, the identification and signature functionality of the electronic German identity card and automatically signing laboratory instrumentation can be integrated into BeLab. The prototype based on our concept was extended by interfaces for these key technologies and challenged by a multidisciplinary scientific evaluation in a workshop, interviews and three case studies. The project addresses the demand of the DFG (German Research Foundation) for an improved handling of research data, to securely store and persistently provide the data, and to find answers for a practical implementation within the research process.

As result of the BeLab project, we have published a book at NOMOS. The book is at this time unfortunately only available in German.

Evidence-proof electronic laboratory book

Requirements, Concepts and Implementation for long-term archival of electronic research data and documentation

by Paul C. Johannes, Jan Potthoff, Prof. Dr. Alexander Ro├čnagel, Bernhard Neumair, Moaaz Madiesh and Dir. u. Prof. Dr. Siegfried Hackel.

2013, 246
ISBN 978-3-8487-0706-5